Category Archives: Old Mauritia

Remember Hopscotch?

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In last year’s creative collaboration post, I mentionned Old Mauritia. I have since worked on a short video with them and that has given me a reason to dust off the camera. I tried my hand at a different kind of filmmaking: Visual comedy.

This term bring to mind Charlie Chaplin, Benny Hill & many other classics. This often dialogue-less form of entertainment is the hardest to pull off in my opinion as with a reduced amount of words, I find it hard to convey meaning and comedy across. When I started on the script, I felt very much out of my comfort zone and after a number of attemps, I decided to only write an outline and to wing it on the day of filming.

I would never recommend winging it at all when it comes to filmmaking but old habits die hard. Turns out that improvising the scenes and character actions worked much better in this case than what I had attempted to write. The shoot was done at short notice (read 1 day notice), therefore we didn’t have much time to find actors so I put myself in it alongside Goolshun, the founder of Old Mauritia.

I would also never recommend directing and acting at the same time because the last time I tried this (my first attempt at filmmaking) ended up in abject failure in terms of delivering a decent film. Although a lot was learned from that project. I brought my tripod, setup the camera and started filming from a shot list that was mostly in my head. Credit to Goolshun for putting up with my dictatorial directing style and my budding staging skills. I would have strangled me if I was working with me…

Early on in the brainstorming process, we decided it was going to be a mix between thriller, comedy & musical. It turned out to be a riff on all three. My days as a Tenor in my college choir are well behind me so I resolved to do a dance only number rather than singing. A decision very well received by Goolshun. I picked a Salman Khan dance video (Dhinka Chika) from the film ‘Ready’ and put us through the paces of learning a choreography that neither had seen before. We shot the dance part at the end of the day and were running out of sunlight very fast. I am not-doing-that-again (he says…again).

We think it turned out pretty well but you, our audience will either confirm/deny that. Please do watch it with your mates and let us know what you all think!

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Creative Collaboration?

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I recently sat down with Goolshun Belut, one of the founders of the Old Mauritia facebook community page. We were shooting ideas back and forth regarding the variety of posts on the Old Mauritia page.

I felt that it needed more multimedia content to compound the amount of news links that were being posted. My favorite idea to come out of this discussion was that of producing short videos to hype up the community page. Creating a bunch of memes inspired by mauritian culture was also a strong contender.

Incidentally, two, as yet, unnamed members of Old Mauritia produced a short vidéo titled ‘Bus Beaters’. The latter is a transliteration of the ‘Battere Bis’ expression used in Mauritian Creole to signify ‘scroungers’.

They had unintentionally amalgamated the video and meme idea. Here it is:

Right,  so how do you follow that up? I suppose you could attend a Sega Festival and then sing (shout) at the top of your lungs: http://en-gb.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152679912785385&set=vb.349501278499910&type=3&theater

A New Hope?

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OldMauritiaA friend and supporter of XtinctFilms recently started a small venture. And that venture is ‘Old Mauritia’. An old continent was recently discovered by researchers and it turns out that its sitting directly under the island of Mauritius.

Who knew?

A couple of people then decided to raise awareness about this discovery by linking to news articles on a website. What started as a news portal about the discovery soon turned into a rallying point for the mauritian community on Facebook.

On 30.03.13 a month’s worth of rainfall occured in just under 2 hours in the capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis. The flash flood caused irreperable damages to houses, stores, roads, schools and also took 11 lives.

Mauritius_flood_2013

Neither city nor country was prepared for such a disaster hence why public services did not manage to act on time to warn the population and avoid casualties. The death toll rose as the water subsided, bringing to light the extent of the damage. There was another light however, one which arose from within the people, in a rare act of solidarity, people from all communities banded together and started a clean up operation alongside government employees.

Flood1From all over the country, donations were coming in, food, clothing, domestic appliances and funds. People were checking on their neighbours, elders and youngers, the spirit of unity and patriotism was overwhelmingly felt by the population.

Mauritians abroad started getting the news, the OldMauritia facebook page was bustling with activity as the updates kept coming in regarding the flood. One of the OldMauritia team members was on the ground at Le Caudan Waterfront as the events unfolded. She managed to escape to safety but not before she took some striking images of the events unfolding around her. She was a changed person by the time she made it out.

The next day, she took it upon herself to post a short video about what she had seen in order to get more people informed. She then joined the clean-up operation and has been keeping us up to date ever since.

CandlesA candlelit vigil was held in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 6th April, attended by Mauritians from all over London and outside. It was a time for reflection on the deaths of our fellow contrymen and on what we can do to help our country in these dire circumstances.

It gives one hope to see us all united in facing this act of nature, I continue to hope that this unity remains, not only in the face of adversity but also in times of normality.

Un Mauricien avant tout,

Zaeem

Photos courtesy of http://www.euronews.com and http://www.facebook.com/OldMauritia